Kind Gestures by S. Webster

Chapter 13

Sue – 1:30 pm

The heat outside seems more unbearable because of the time spent in the air conditioned diner. Sue crosses the street quickly, puts the key in the lock and pushes the door open. Turning she flips the sign back to “open” and closes the door behind her. She heads behind the counter to drop her purse and slip into a smock.

Sue needs the protection of some type of cover-up when she’s working with these new collaged pieces. Just two weeks ago Linny Albright rushed in with a newly finished collage, so new the paint was still wet in places and smudged off onto the counter. Linny and Sue both pretended not to notice and if there was harm to the artwork, it was impossible to tell.

This new collage would replace another one in Linny’s house. The one she framed six months ago was now destined to be hung in Linny’s husband’s office – somewhere. Sue guessed it was important for Linny to say she had work hanging in a law office. And her husband probably knew better than to refuse his wife’s work, knew it wasn’t worth the hurt feelings and sulking he’d have to endure. Linny chatted on about where she’d hang the artwork in her house so it would be safe from direct sunlight on its waxed surface and then asked Sue if she was enrolling in the new workshop being offered by the Art League, something to do with photo transfers in collage. Sue said she didn’t think she’d have the time.

This new one of Linny’s was about the same size. “God forbid they try anything different once they got the formula down,” Sue thought.

Linny told Sue that she liked to hang her collage pieces away from the direct sunlight in the hall. Sue knew without ever being Linny’s house why that hall was likely the one on the way to the guest bathroom. This way the viewer was forced to look at them up close, wonder about its hidden meanings and the significance to their host/artist, Linny. And once returning to the dining room, the guest could comment on how “interesting” her new artwork was.

She called later that week to give Linny an estimate of how much it would cost and ask if they were to go ahead with the framing. Linny was thrilled that it was going to be less than two hundred dollars and Joe proceeded to build the frame that Linny had decided on, decided on with considerable influence by Sue. The frame had to be deep enough to preserve all those precious parts behind glass that were now carefully adhering to an appropriate background color. All Sue needed to do this afternoon was shine the glass one more time, wrap it up and make out the bill before Linny came in to pick it up around four-thirty.

Sue smiled to herself as she reached for the glass cleaner and rag.